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Is Google out of touch? What the SEO community thinks about the November 2021 core update

Yesterday, Google announced the November 2021 core update. While there’s nothing new about these periodic algorithm changes, many SEOs are wondering why Google decided to release it right before one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

The holiday shopping season. The weeks encompassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday already add pressure to businesses looking to meet customer demand as well as their own revenue projections. Throwing a core update into the mix could make this even more complicated. This has made some SEOs wonder if Google is out of touch with both the business and search communities.

The SEO community response. Many in the search community are questioning Google’s timing on this update. Some marketers responded to Google Search Liason Danny Sullivan’s explanation, including SEO Rich Missey, who identified possible issues that could arise with business stakeholders.

Possibly a different perspective: While I, as an SEO, don't get "flustered" by updates (usually), senior stakeholders may see the word "update" and have questions.

A.K.A. Freak out.
A.K.A create fire drills.
A.K.A horrible time suck.
And so forth. 🙂

— Rich Missey (@richmissey) November 18, 2021

Sarah Blocksidge of Six City Marketing pointed out that, while a core update took place around the same time last year, its timing was a little more reasonable.

well, they did do one around this time last year as well but at least it was after black friday https://t.co/VYypG5bHpj

— Sarah (she/her) (@SarahBlocksidge) November 17, 2021

But other professionals, such as Barry Adams of Polemic Digital, took a more cynical view of the update (and Google’s core updates as a whole).

Because they don't care, and they have an undeserved level of trust (some may call it arrogance) in their algorithms. https://t.co/LbiRPEveQa

— Barry Adams 📰 (@badams) November 18, 2021

John Mueller of Google decided to jump into these conversations as well, asking SEOs how and when they preferred the company announce these changes.

I'm curious — would you prefer we just mentioned them afterwards, or not at all? I realize there's an aspect of "never change anything", but good things go up with updates too. (not being snarky, honestly wondering what your thoughts are, feel free to DM if you prefer)

— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) November 18, 2021

Why we care. Businesses that made changes to their staff and inventory in preparation for the holiday shopping season may experience issues depending on the update’s impact. It’s important for SEOs to pinpoint when these ranking changes occurred so they can notify stakeholders and prepare to adjust their strategies. The impacts could continue through the end of November, so be ready to respond to decreases or increases in search visibility.


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